Sussex Travel Clinic

Hove Clinic

01273 749100

Worthing Clinic

01903 254774

The annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca is fast approaching  and is due to fall between 24th and 29th October 2012. Hajj is the  largest gathering of its kind in the world with over two million Muslims  from around the world attending each year. A shorter pilgrimage Umrah can be performed at any time.

Vaccine Requirements for Hajj and Umrah

All pilgrims should ensure that they are up-to-date with  routine immunisations including measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)

Meningitis ACWY – proof of vaccination is against meningococcal meningitis ACW135Y is required for all pilgrims aged 2 years and over. As outbreaks of meningococcal meningitis have occurred during previous Hajj  pilgrimages  vaccination is also advised for those under the age of two years. The vaccine should be given at least 10 days before travel and be given not less than 3 years before the date of travel.  A certificate of vaccination is a requirement for visa purposes.

In association with the Muslim Council of Great Britain our clinic is able to offer anyone attending Hajj or Umrah the meningitis vaccine at the reduced rate of £35.

Polio – all pilgrims are advised to check that their polio vaccination is up-to-date. Polio vaccination lasts 10 years. If you require a booster you will receive a booster, using the trivalent tetanus,  diphtheria and polio vaccine.

Yellow Fever –  a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for all pilgrims to Hajj and Umrah arriving from countries or areas at  risk for transmission of yellow fever. You do not need a yellow fever certificate if you are arriving from the UK.

Influenza ( Seasonal flu) the Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia  recommends that all  pilgrims are vaccinated against seasonal influenza. Influenza is easily spread in crowded conditions. If you have a chronic illness, are pregnant or a carer you may be entitled to an NHS flu vaccine. If you are not entitled to a flu jab we can help- cost £18.

Hepatitis A and Typhoid – pilgrims should consider being vaccinated against these food and waterborne diseases.

Hepatitis B – Hepatitis B virus is found in body fluids and can be transmitted through sexual contact or contact with bodily fluids.  Transmission can occur  through the use of contaminated medical, dental, or other instruments.  Men must shave their head as part of one of the rites of Hajj. All  pilgrims should consider a course of hepatitis B vaccine. Pilgrims should avoid shaving with a blade previously used and may want to take their own disposable razor blade to avoid risk of infection from Hepatitis B and other blood borne illnesses such as HIV and Hepatitis C.

Full vaccine recommendations for Saudi Arabia can be found on FitForTravel

General Advice for Pilgrimages

  • Take self treatment for diarrhoea illnesses: these include imodium, oral re-hydration salts and if you have underlying medical conditions consider taking an antibiotic for self treatment of travellers diarrhoea.
  • Take alcohol hand gel – in crowded places there will be lots of bugs that transmit illnesses such as influenza. Use hand gel regularly to keep your hands sanitised.
  • Malaria is not present in Mecca or Medina, however, journeys between these places pass through a malaria risk area. Travel should take place during daylight hours to minimise risk. Use a good insect repellent on your skin at all times to avoid any mosquito – borne infections.
  • Temperature in Saudi Arabi can be very hot even in winter months. Wear a high factor sunscreen on your skin to avoid sunburn.
  • Wear good quality footwear and carry a bag to keep your shoes in when taking off for pray.
  • Take a first aid kit to treat any minor injuries. A basic kit should include plasters, pain killers and oral re-hydration salts.
  • Ensure you have adequate travel insurance . If you have under-lying medical conditions make sure your insurance covers you for these.

To book vaccinations for Hajj please call 01273 749100 or book online